Colombo Recipe (Traditional French Caribbean Christmas Stew)

Here’s a traditional recipe for Colombo, a flavorful stew that is a popular dish during Christmas in the French Caribbean.


For the marinade:

  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of Colombo spice mix (can be found in specialty stores or online)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the stew:

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon of Colombo spice mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Mix the Colombo spice mix, minced garlic, grated ginger, white wine vinegar, and vegetable oil in a large bowl to create the marinade. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, coating them well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight for best results.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the marinated chicken to the pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, and eggplant to the pot, and stir to coat them with the spices and chicken. Pour in the chicken broth and coconut milk, and sprinkle in the Colombo spice mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat and let the stew rest for a few minutes.
  7. Serve the Colombo hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. It is traditionally served with rice or roti, a type of flatbread.

Enjoy this delicious and aromatic Colombo stew, a traditional French Caribbean Christmas dish that will impress your guests with its unique flavors.

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